Lafayette, LA- The process of creating the 2010 Official Festival International de Louisiane artwork began long before Bonnie Camos and Craig ‘Whoojoo’ McCullen were asked to make their Festival memories come to life. “Bonnie and I have attended-participated-played at all 23 previous Festival Internationals. What treat and honor for both of us to be asked to make this year’s Festival Original Artwork,” says McCullen.
Festival InternationalIn late May 2009, Craig and Bonnie were asked to collaborate on the artwork for the 2010 Festival, the first time two artists were asked to collaborate on one piece. The two artists took the entire summer to figure out what to do for the piece. They used Craig’s studio in Downtown Lafayette as their headquarters. “Craig’s studio was totally inspiring, full of color and energy.  Every time we worked together was a treat. We shared stories of our families, things that had happened at festivals past and life in general.  More importantly, but very subtly, our ideas began to mesh,” Camos comments. The two artists learned from each other and were able to create a wonderful and unique piece of art for the 2010 Festival. “We combined our individual knowledge, tools and techniques using glass, copper, wax, fire and wood to create what we both envisioned as a unified symbol expressing the synergy of the Festival,” adds Camos

Both Camos and McCullen have many fond memories of their experiences with Festival International that they were able to incorporate into the artwork entitled, “Ça Fait Chaud” (It’s hot). “On Festival Mondays, downtown Lafayette begins its change to an exotic far- away place. Unusual people walk the streets. They come and go in groups as tourists. By Tuesday these groups become the majority of people downtown and suddenly I feel I am the tourist in their land. The opening ceremony Wednesday busts with excitement. Everyone feels the energy. New sounds and smells greet each person as he/she steps out on the street,” remembers McCullen.

Camos also adds personal memories of Festivals past that include her whole family, “That first year none of us had ever been to anything like this here in Lafayette. I packed up the girls that Saturday afternoon, along with a cousin or two, dragged them off to downtown Lafayette where there was no worry of parking. We just strolled down the streets running into friends, eating the most exotic things and hearing the most wonderful music. The energy was electric. We stayed until we couldn’t go anymore: sunburned, sweaty, tired, and happy. The next morning, the girls wanted to go BACK! And so we did…for the next 23 years”.

The official 2010 Festival Artwork, Ça Fait Chaud, can be seen at Whoojoo Stained Glass Studio (532 Jefferson St.). A silent auction is being held for the artwork that will conclude Saturday, April 24, 2010, where this magnificent piece of art will go to the highest bidder. So, visit Whoojoo, check out the artwork, and bid away!

Formed in 1986, Festival International de Louisiane is a community-based, non-profit arts organization that provides a FREE family event celebrating the French cultural heritage of southern Louisiana-primarily a combination of French, African, Caribbean, and Hispanic influences. Celebrate the 24e Festival International de Louisiane from April 21-25, 2010 in downtown Lafayette, Louisiana. If you would like more information on Festival International de Louisiane, please visit www.festivalinternational.com or call (337) 232-8086.

 

“Together we got to express the impressions that Festival International has had on each of us. Putting these ideas and memories together is probably the happiest and most challenging work of our careers. But sharing stories of our individual experiences lead us to combing the images that touched not only us, but every person who has attended since the Festival began”.

                                    -Bonnie Camos & Craig ‘Whoojoo’ McCullen